Sexual Nature visitors share ideas on love and sex

20 June 2011

Visitors to Sexual Nature at the Natural History Museum have shared their ideas on love and sex in the exhibition that takes a provocative look at the birds and the bees.

Tens of thousands of Sexual Nature visitors had a chance to vote on 3 big questions in the 4 months since the exhibition opened.  

True love got the visitor vote with 68% believing it exists. Animals enjoy their fair share of romance too. For example seahorses enjoy a lengthy courtship that involves a ritual of colour changing, swimming and holding tails, and general twirling.

Just under half (46%) of voters believe that humans should be monogamous as a species. 

We are unusual in the animal kingdom in attempting to mate for life. Some, such as blackbirds, manage it but most animals regularly change partners. 

Only 14% of voters believe that sex is for procreation, with the vast majority of contributors revealing they believe sex is more to do with intimacy and recreation than simple reproduction.  

Some animals would agree - bonobo apes are at it all the time, even using sex as a greeting. They have little discrimination for age, gender, or even whether they’re in the middle of a meal.  

To get a fresh and bold perspective on sex in the natural world, visit the Sexual Nature exhibition, open until 2 October 2011. Remember to leave your preconceptions to one side: the sex life of nature cannot be judged by our moral codes!

Share this

Further information